Friday, May 08, 2009

4MC: Nick Shotter's amazing four-wheeled motorcycle

The 4MC, powersliding out of corners and getting sideways, on wet and oily tarmac! This has to be the most phenomenal motorcycle concept we've ever seen...!!!

Pics and video: 4MC, via Gizmag

Remember the Yamaha Tesseract and Franco Sbarro’s Pendolauto? Both of these four-wheeled motorcycle concepts looked like they would be a lot of fun to ride but they haven’t, apparently, progressed beyond the concept bike stage.

Now, where Yamaha and Sbarro haven’t been able to move ahead, the UK-based Nick Shotter has. His 4MC four-wheeled motorcycle is a fully functioning prototype and going by the video you see above, it’s simply phenomenal. With proper motorcycle-style tilting wheels – but with the added traction you get with four hoops rather than just two – the 4MC seems easy to powerslide out of corners, on wet and oily tarmac!! You wouldn’t try that on your ZX-10R, would you…?

According to a report on Gizmag, Shotter is a London-based ex-courier, who’s been working on his tilting four-wheel motorcycle for two decades. He also owns a few patents on this design, which might actually be one of the reasons why Yamaha have not been able to go ahead with the Tesseract concept.

When you watch the video of the 4MC being ridden around corners, you realise that this bike seems just about uncrashable. At full tilt, its wheels actually move slightly further apart, increasing stability. That, along with the added manoeuvrability that its tilting wheels provide, make the 4MC a demon in fast corners. And at very low speeds, there’s a hydraulic anti-tilt system there, which ‘locks’ the wheels and allows the machine to be ridden very slowly, without the rider having to put his feet down.

For now, the 4MC prototype is fitted with a 400cc Yamaha engine, but it can be modified to accept bigger, more powerful engines. We really wonder what this machine will do with a litre-class superbike engine in there. We see a lot of concepts and prototypes and all kinds of wild and wonderful two-, three- and four-wheeled contraptions here at Faster and Faster, but the 4MC has just blown us away. Awesome machine!!!

For more videos of the 4MC and other details on this wonderful machine, visit Nick Shotter’s website here
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